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09.08.2017

Photo by Levi Bare on Unsplash
Bulletin 09.08.2017
Freedom

 
Synopsis from Visiting Friend
The sessions that I witnessed in 2017 were relatively amicable, with only brief flares of rancor on the floor of Yearly Meeting. The ejected group was granted space to hold separate sessions (which I attended) on the campus of GFU. Assurances had been issued that property and pastoral retirements funds will not be forfeited by departing congregations, provided that a separation is completed by June 30, 2018. [Note that until the separation is complete, both factions are technically members of NWYM.]

About 80 people in the ejected group met to consider their options.  
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Keith Barton, traveling from the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends, offered a synopsis of his experience at annual sessions in July. Click here to read his full report.

Gathering in Eugene
Our next, large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 7, at Eugene Friends. There will be a shared meal. Childcare is provided. If you are planning to attend, please send the following information to Rachel Hampton hamptonrachel2002@outlook.com: Your name and the names of those coming with you, the age of anyone under 18, and an email address for contact.

As much as possible, we’d like to accommodate food sensitivities, but we may not be able to meet your needs. If you have severe dietary restrictions, please plan ahead. We can accommodate vegetarian/vegan, gluten and dairy and nut allergies. We will have programs for all ages as well as nursery for preschoolers, so youth and children are encouraged to come.

 

Christian Faith and White Supremacy

A statement from clergy (including three Quakers, two with Pacific Northwest connections) that connects well with the minute produced by our Equity and Inclusion Committee: As a diverse group of theologians, activists and ministers of our respective parishes, congregations, networks, churches, faith communities and educational institutions, we here declare that we are bound together by the confession that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Church.

We publicly declare that what we hold in common in this confession is threatened by the festering infection of Eurocentric white nationalism and white supremacy. Fueled by flawed interpretations of Old Testament purity laws and conquest, churches and denominations in the United States have been deeply shaped by and at times created to sustain European purity and colonization of land, people, and culture.

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Original signers of the statement released earlier this week include Grace Ji-Sun Kim at Earlham School of Religion, MaryKate Morse at Portland Seminary, and Randy S. Woodley at Eloheh Village, Farm and Community in Newberg. Click here to read the full statement.
I grew up in a loving family of seven in California, steeped in Southern Baptist doctrine. As a young woman in the ’60s I began to question a lot about the inconsistencies I saw between the love I witnessed in my family and even in some of the folks in the church, and what I was learning about Jesus and God. I was married, had two daughters, and divorced by the time I was 20. My situation put me at odds with the Baptists’ theology about women, sin, divorce, and how God relates to humans. I left the Baptist church, and in my searching found Friends, moving to Newberg in 1974-75, when Richard Foster and Ron Woodward were pastoring at Newberg Friends Church. Christ used the teaching and people of NFC to teach me a new way of reading and understanding scripture, bringing a huge inner freedom.
 
I was soon exposed to the broader Quaker world, meeting Friends from North Pacific Yearly Meeting and beyond. I’ve had amazing opportunities to meet and worship with many fine, deeply committed Friends, to hear the stories of early Friends, and to spend two years among Kenyan Friends telling the story of Margaret Fell, the founding mother of Friends. I’ve worshipped with Convergent Friends, attended many Pacific Northwest Quaker Women’s Theology Conferences, and done a year in the Way of the Spirit program. These relationships and experiences have given me a strong sense of identity as a Quaker but not a strong identity as an Evangelical Quaker. I find so much life and light among Friends across the spectrum, and I am challenged, encouraged, and my spirit fed by my convergent involvement.
 
I am very excited about Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF) and this opportunity to participate in a new thing that Christ is doing among Friends. I see my role as being a supporter, lending my experience with Quaker process, my connections, my commitment to follow my Inner Guide, my ability to listen, and my time (I am a semi-retired nurse). My hope for our new yearly meeting is that it will be a place where people learn that God loves them unconditionally, as they are, with all their mistakes, humanness, giftedness, and desires to be in community. I want people to experience the freedom from misinterpretation of scripture and the acceptance of being loved by the people in the meeting. I want SCYMF to be steeped in worship, attending to Spirit’s movement in and among us and empowering us to be humble, truthful, and loving. I look forward to becoming a strong, healthy community as we work together to create a more just society, standing with the poor, homeless, immigrants, disabled, mentally ill, etc.—the people Jesus brings to our hearts to love as he loved them.

Norma Silliman is part of the People Work group. She attends Camas Friends.
Announcements

If you have prayer requests for the Prayer Team, please share them by email with Carol Whorton - cwhorton47@gmail.com

The Clergy Letter Project challenges the assumption that religion is opposed to science (and evolution in particular). Since 2008, West Hills Friends has participated in Evolution Weekend, an annual celebration of science within places of worship. That event is scheduled for February 2018.

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by Admin